Thirteen incredibly talented and dedicated Middlebrook 8th grade students were awarded with 2016 Visionary Art Awards after creating artwork that will become part of the permanent display collection beautifying the school from which they’re graduating tonight.

The Visionary Art Award was created seventeen years ago when Middlebrook School expanded. Through the vision of adult community members, administrators, and a dedicated group of students, two large student-created sculptures were built in the main lobby and the courtyard the first year.

Since then, more sculptures, murals, and mosaics were added throughout the school, including Matthew Shaw’s visionary project from 8th grade, the spectacular mobile in the front lobby, a lasting legacy to the Middlebrook family.

The Visionary Art Projects are collaborative projects designed by advanced art students, who are willing to work on their own time, after school, before school, and during lunch periods to accomplish this permanent piece.

“We are honored to award the 2016 Visionary Art Award to 13 eighth grade students who have volunteered their efforts to permanently beautify the school,” says Susan LaBarbera the head of the art department at Middlebrook. “We greatly appreciate the efforts and visions of our Visionary Artists who have helped beautify this building with their legacies and to permanently define MiddleBrook School as a Creative Student Learning Center.”

Each visionary project has a plaque engraved with the title, year and artists’ names. They were presented with the awards on June 10 at the end of the year award ceremony. LaBarbera and the other two art teachers, Karen Golder and Hazel Usher, worked all year with the students to complete the nine pieces of art that will be permanently installed at Middlebrook.

Matthew Ferro

“Windows of the World”—I decided to make my painting portray the many different countries and cultures in this world. And, no matter where we are and what language we speak, we all see life the same exact way.

Matthew Ferro

Anna Clark

Anna Clark

“Change in the Wind”—I was on 7-Yellow last year, with the message and theme of “Change.” I truly wanted to symbolize how life changes and that when it does, people will always be able to adjust and move with the flow of life. Even though this piece is still open to interpretation, this should show that life always finds a way to adapt for you.

Esha Iyengar

“Taj Mahal”—I wanted to paint something that represented who I am, and where I am from. I wanted my culture to be showcased through this painting, and that is why I chose the Taj Mahal.

Esha Iyengar

Sarah Belcher

“Colorful Notes” Just like the different colors in the rainbow, people embrace music in different ways. I created this painting because it is a reflection of two things I am passionate about which are music and art. Throughout my years in Middlebrook, my love for art and music has grown more than ever before. I look forward to where my creativity and imagination will take me next year.

Sarah Belcher

Brett Gilman and Harris Patnaik

“Something to Discover” is a painting that highlights the natural wonders America has to offer, especially those protected by the National Parks service. This year just so happens to be the NPS’s centennial.

Through these images, we invite you to let go of your electronics and go take a ride on a railway, climb to the top of a lighthouse, trek the Highline, or even go throw a football at a concert somewhere.

Brett Gilman and Harris Patnaik

Tara O’Donnell

I chose to create “The Calling Hour” with the zodiac constellations in the sky to show how even when we feel like a lone wolf, we will always have our family watching over us.

Tara O'Donnell

Navod Jayawardhane and Alexander Koutsoukos

We painted “Voices of Middlebrook” in order to show the core values that make up the foundation of Middlebrook School. These values continue to inspire us students to strive for higher goals and to achieve great things. These values, shown both in the students and the teachers, reflect the true heart and soul of the Middlebrook community.

Navod Jayawardhane and Alexander Koutsoukos

Will Trentos

I made “A Step into the Future” to symbolize each grade and the steps we have taken to our future. This piece evolved throughout the year, and really became a collaborative project that everyone helped to create. Whether it was a recommendation, an opinion or even assistance in building, “Ramone” (his nickname) became a unique piece.
Maud Seymour

Throughout my past 8 months working on my visionary, I realized something. Art isn’t just about the finished product, it’s about the process and the people you meet along the way. I was enlightened in so many new, exciting ways that I can’t begin to capture in words. I think that my visionary journey is a lot like life, because life isn’t about how good it looks in the end, it’s about all the experiences, good and bad, that build character and make you a better person. My visionary means more to me than a painting, because life isn’t about where you are, it’s about how you got there.

Will Trentos

Dalton DiCamillo ad Niamh McCarthy

“Lunar Flare” was created to symbolize how the different elements of art can be transformed into many different styles. The sun, using the basic elements of line and color, stretches out to the six moons, which depict originality, diversity, and imagination.

Dalton DiCamillo ad Niamh McCarthy